Lister Hospital’s final stage of redevelopment set to go ahead

THE final phase of Lister Hospital’s multi-million pound redevelopment plan - which will make Lister the main acute hospital for all of east and north Hertfordshire - was given the green light by the board of NHS Hertfordshire today (Wednesday).

The East and North Herts NHS Trust’s �71m project was put up for review by the Coalition Government in June, but now - subject to approval by the NHS East of England board tomorrow (Thursday) - the fourth stage will go ahead.

The redevelopment plans will comprise of 10 separate work streams, due for completion between August 2011 and February 2014.

These include an emergency department expansion and redevelopment with a 24-hour urgent care centre, a new two-storey ward block, the relocation of the chemotherapy unit and a theatre and endoscopy block.

NHS Hertfordshire has also been developing its outline business case for the new QEII Hospital, which will have a range of important clinical services that reflect the non-acute healthcare needs of local people in the Welwyn Hatfield area.

Nick Carver, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “We very much welcome the decision to release our final phase four plan for Lister’s redevelopment, along with those that our colleagues in NHS Hertfordshire will be taking forward locally in planning for the new QEII Hospital.

“The involvement and support of our NHS partners has been very important to us as we have worked our way through the review process, as has been the engagement of the political leadership within Hertfordshire.

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“We now believe that we have secured an outcome that allows us to bring much needed investment to our hospital services, as well as ensure some of the best care available anywhere in the region once this programme completes in 2014.”

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to secure another �71 million investment in healthcare in Stevenage and this comes to around a quarter of a billion pounds that the new government is investing in Stevenage health and education.

“We have been working hard to ensure this project is given the green light and Lister becomes a centre of clinical excellence.

“Protecting and improving our local NHS is a key priority and I will continue working with unions, managers, staff, clinicians and patients to deliver the best healthcare possible for local people.

He added: “This is just the start and we need to campaign hard to make sure we deliver real results. There has been too much talk over the last 13 years, it is time for action”.